Learning how to bake chicken is important for any cook. Whether you're roasting a whole chicken or making baked chicken breasts, thighs, or wings, the popular main dish a sure success. We put together these easy tips for baking chicken, plus must-try chicken recipes to get you started.
Step 1: Prepare the chicken
Before you roast chicken, remove the gizzards or other internal organs, if there are any. Set the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up.
Step 2: Preheat the oven and season the chicken
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven is heating, brush the chicken with olive oil or butter and season with salt, pepper, and any herbs and spices the roasted chicken recipe indicates.
Step 3: Roast the chicken
Put the chicken in the roasting pan into the preheated oven. The chicken cooking times vary by weight and by recipe, but in general, follow these guidelines:
2-1/2- to 3-pound chicken: Roast 1 to 1-1/4 hours
3- to 3-1/2-pound chicken: Roast 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours
3-1/2- to 4-pound chicken: Roast 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours
4-1/2- to 5-pound chicken: Roast 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Step 4: Remove the chicken from the oven
How do you know if a chicken is done? When the juices run clear, the chicken is no longer pink, and the drumsticks move easily in their sockets, you can stop cooking the chicken. The internal temperature -- measured by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (the thermometer should not touch bone) -- should be 180 degrees F.
I??m Lauren with Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. Roasting a chicken is a technique every cook should master, and with our Secrets to Success, you can cook it to perfection every time. Let me show you what I??m talking about. The really interesting secret is to roast on a bed of vegetables like thick slices of onions, stalks of celery or big chunks of carrots. The whole idea is to elevate the bird off of the bottom of the pan, so the air circulates and it doesn??t steam in its own juices. Of course a roasting rack works fine too, but if you don??t have one or don??t want to mess with cleaning one, this vegetable rack is a flavorful solution and you can even eat the rack. This secret isn??t just for chicken. It works for turkey, pork and beef roasts too. Since air circulation is so important in roasting, tent the chicken loosely with foil before putting it in the oven. The foil will trap heat of it and keep the temperature around it more even. But be sure the foil is loose or steam will get trapped inside and make the skin soggy. One last thing to keep in mind, always let the roasted chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Now, this is critical. The rest period allows juices to redistribute and will help ensure tender, juicy meat. Better Homes and Gardens has the secrets to success for a perfect roasting every time.
Step 1: Prepare the chicken pieces
Follow your baked chicken recipe and brush chicken pieces with oil and season as directed. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in a baking pan or roasting pan.
Step 2: Bake the chicken pieces
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the chicken pieces, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until no longer pink (internal temperature should be 170 degrees F for chicken breasts, 180 degrees F for thighs and drumsticks).
To store: Let the baked chicken stand for 30 minutes to cool. Wrap chicken pieces individually in waxed paper. Divide wrapped chicken between two large freezer bags, removing as much air as possible from bags. Label and freeze for up to 4 months.